The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) is participating as an observer in the Ninth Session of the Scientific Sub-Committee of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) in Nouakchott, Mauritania from 5 – 9 December 2022.
The session is being organized to endorse the management advice for stocks, formulated from a review of the results of the small pelagic and demersal Working Group assessments. The working area of the assessments comprised waters between the southern border of Senegal and the southern border of Angola, including the islands of Cabo Verde, and Sao Tomé and Principe, an area which includes the FCWC region.
The 22 researchers from Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo, and FAO analyzed 22 stocks and 9 groups of species and produced assessment results for review by the Scientific Sub-Committee. The assessment results showed that 13 stocks were found to be overexploited (meaning fishing pressure should be reduced to allow the stocks to grow) and 7 stocks were fully exploited (meaning fishing pressure seemed sustainable and can be maintained). The Working Group recommended that, as a precautionary measure, the level of catches should not exceed the average of the catches of the last five or three years or, in some cases, the previous year (2018).
The results of the Working Group assessment are being used by the Scientific Sub-Committee to formulate advice on fisheries management measures for the stocks, which will then be endorsed by the Member Countries during the Committee session.